2020 Caruso & Minini Sicilia Catarratto Naturalmente Bio
Region: Marsala < Sicily > Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming, stainless steel fermentation and aging, 200-400m altitude, soil is sandy with large stones; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Giovanna Caruso
Located on Sicily’s western-most coast near the town of Marsala, Caruso & Minini boasts a history that harkens back to the late 1800’s when Antonio Caruso bought the company to grow grapes for the nearby Marsala factories. The company was passed through subsequent generations until Nino Caruso finally decided to begin making and bottling his own wine in the mid 1900’s. In 2004, Stefano Caruso joined forces with Mario Minini of Lombardy to launch the present-day winery, producing wines from indigenous Sicilian varietals such as Catarratto, Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Inzolia, and Nerello Mascalese. Today, Stefano’s daughter Giovanna works closely with her father to head up this historic winery. While she helps support the estate as a whole Giovanna also cultivates five hectares organically, and she uses this fruit for her side project, the Naturalmente Bio series. We have to say we were not surprised to fall in love with a woman-made wine from one of our favorite wine producing areas in Italy – Sicily. However, we were surprised that it was the Catarratto that stole our heart. Usually made into Marsala, a sweet, fortified wine, Catarratto rarely shines on its own. But this is an exception.
Because the vineyards Giovanna farms for her bio series are located in a very windy area full of windmills, it doesn't get as hot here as other parts, and the grapes retain their acidity. This wind-cooled climate helps explains why Giovanna's Catarratto is so fresh and crisp, while also being varietally correct. Sunny and breezy with crisp yellow apple, Meyer lemon and almonds balancing white flowers and apricots, and a kiss of acid on finish. this wine carefully walks the line between raciness and heft, and straddles it perfectly. We’ve become Catarratto converts!